'Two men, two eras, one woman - can journalist Knut Stubbendorff unravel this mysterious love story that the past has kept secret?
ummer 1897: Three Swedish men set off on a perilous journey. Led by Salomon August Andrée, they hope to reach the North Pole in a hot-air balloon. The expedition fails miserably. Despite rescue missions throughout the remaining years of the century, the party - Andrée, Knut Frænkel and Nils Strindberg - are lost to the world until 1930, when Norwegian sealers inadvertently discover the men's remains in the expedition's final camp on a small tundra called Kvitøya, in the Arctic Ocean.
1930: Smug, young Swedish journalist, Knut Stubbendorff, is sent to report from the site. Among the remains he finds the private journal of Nils Strindberg, filled with letters written to his fiancée, a young governess named Anna Charlier. Moved by the sincerity and emotion of these love messages he sets off on a journey of his own to find the woman and pass on Nils' letters.
Moving back and forth between the late 1890s, when physicist Nils and Anna are courting, to 1930 as Stubbendorff attempts to track down Anna, the journalist reveals a complex emotional conspiracy forged three decades earlier, that has wreaked havoc on Anna and the men who loved her. Burdened by secrets and guilt, Anna has become a martyr to Nils' memory, forbidding herself the chance of happiness and emotional stability.
As Anna, Erik (the daughter that Anna abandoned), Stubbendorff and the rest of Nil's family converge on Stockholm for the state funeral of the three explorers, Knut finally unearths the long-buried secrets and deceptions that have had such a devastating effect on so many lives.' (Publisher's blurb)